Edgar Allen Beem is a necessary oasis to offset the tsunami force that has gripped Maine and Mainers. I find his position a reflection of America and Americans that exists, deserves to exist, and has the right to exist. The tea party conservatives don’t think so. A minority they are in Maine and in the U.S., but they are portrayed by media as if they own America, are true Americans and patriots, are the pure interpreters of the Constitution. Soon they will be hoisting their Bibles along with their flags to put the final nail in the coffins of the rest, today’s “silent majority.” But this is no reason to compromise with them. Compromise with right-wing Republicans has shown that placating the abuser only exacerbates their cruelty. America is not a monopoly of one group, party, religion or ethnic group. The tea party wishes it to be something it isn’t and something it never will become.
I detect a hint of defeat in Beem’s latest writings. I disagree that artists and writers should detach from government support; this is to capitulate to market forces. Also, NPR and CPR have a right to exist with government funding; this franchise was won after long struggles in the 1970s and has since existed with bipartisan support.
Louis D. Brandeis by now must be turning in his grave. The tea party/conservative game is money, wealth and control, not the Constitution, job creation or fiscal responsibility. Brandeis might be spinning, but Sinclair Lewis isn’t. He’s saying: I warned you.
Michael T. Bucci